Gain raw power by gaining weight

Hello !

I hope some of you will be able to help me.
I am 170cm tall (5’7) and my weight is 53kg (116 lbs).
I think I have some good power to weight numbers but it is not enough for flat race.


I would like to gain some weight to gain raw watts, even if I will lose a bit on hilly race.
Do you think that it is a good strategy ? what is the weight that I should target ?

Thanks mate !


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Are you considering this based on race results, or strictly off the numbers? Where do you struggle in races?

Don’t target the weight, target the watts.

You don’t WANT to add weight, you just HAVE to gain the weight, as a result of building muscle that might allow you to be stronger on the flat.


I am considering this based on the experience I’ve got during training sessions and ride with my friends and from one race where I did not have the raw watts to play the sprint,

I don’t have the kick and the sprint that I need to be competitive during the race.

–> onemanpeloton :
Ok thanks !! To be more concrete, what would you advise me to do then ?

Well, if you can’t sprint, you need to win a different way, not necessarily try to improve your sprint. You might try joining/creating a break or doing a long solo break to avoid having it come down to a sprint.

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I see, but pushing 300w on the flat during 10min to create a break is not enough ! but 300w it’s already above my ftp but for some heavier cyclist it is their tempo zone

No point in gaining weight. Play to your strengths and enter hilly races where your light weight will give you an advantage.


But if there is no hilly race in my region, I kind of have to adapt my body to the topography haha

You won’t achieve what you want by putting on weight. Quintana won’t win any sprints by putting on weight, and Griepel won’t win in the mountains by losing weight.

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300 w isn’t tempo for most, particularly not folks roughly your size and I’m assuming you are female given your size. My FTP is over 300 and tempo starts around 227. You may need to be able to do 300 w for a few minutes, but 10 minutes is probably not necessary. Once you establish the break, you only have to ride slightly faster than the field to keep them away. I think the point is, you can improve your sprint and if you want to, you should. However, even if you do improve your sprint, given your size, you still likely won’t be strong enough to win from the sprint. You need to play to your strengths, not count on making your weakness stronger than others who may count that as a strength.


If OP was female they would be world class at those w/kg numbers.

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Thanks for all your answers. I see what you mean. So according to you, the fact that I am really light compared to the other cyclist of my height is not detrimental to my progression?

I am a man indeed

I would just try your hardest to find races that feature a lot of climbing and then blow people away!

How old are you?

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I will try to do that !!
I am 18 !

Wow, you’re super young and have a lot of time left to still develop. I wouldn’t stress about any of that yet. Just keep training and having fun. Make sure you’re eating enough (before, during and after rides) and your body will take care of itself!

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You should never try to be something you’re not. I’m a bigger rider and have accepted it - I am never going to be a good climber but am trying to be the best all rounder I can be. Think that’s the secret - train for more power, your body will adapt and don’t try to pigeon hole yourself. I know a few smaller guys who are quick on the flat too. So it’s not body weight/size dependent and even coach Chad has said he was a better climber a bit heavier than his ideal weight. It’s got to be power and at your age you should be enjoying life and trying different things but also realising you can’t be what you’re not, to a degree. Build power and everything becomes easier… :+1:t2::grin:

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Oh, to be young again! This changes everything. Your body is still in a very formative stage. You are extremely lean now, but call us in 20 years. I think your height means that you will always be on the lighter side, but I would think eating extra to gain some weight while you come into your adult body would be okay. You should still play to your strengths and I wouldn’t overdo it, but putting on muscle will definitely happen as you get older and you can possibly accelerate that a bit with a healthy diet and some extra cals.

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I’ll try to be more aero, to work a bit on my sprint and to build some muscles to compensate ! Thanksss

Don’t listen to the “don’t try to be something you’re not”. You have a goal and you’re willing to work hard to achieve it, kudos to you.

I’m not the best person to advise you on how to build strength. What I can say is that following the TR plans has really helped build me as a rider, so I think they will help you too. Maybe you can focus on leg work at the gym if you don’t already? I’ve noticed even Chris Froome on the leg press machine!

This forum has a lot of knowledge that can help you. My main message is just that adding weight doesn’t just equal extra power!


As said above, train to get more watts, fuel your workouts properly, your weight will end up wherever it needs to be.

If there are no hilly races around where you are then the good news is you’re going to have to learn to be extremely efficient and tactically astute to make the most of your watts on the flat! There’s a guy I’ve raced with who is about your size and pretty effective even on flat crit races. Extremely compact position allows him to get a lot of speed for his watts, he’s great at handling so maintains his speed well and makes up places during technical sections. When he’s tucked into a wheel he’s basically getting a completely free ride, and he can squeeze through gaps in the peloton. Put him in a bunch sprint finish when everybody is fresh and he’s going to struggle. But races rarely work out that way, and the more selective a race is and the more matches everybody has burned, the more likely he is to be in contention at the end. I’ve been in a 2 man break with him for 20km off the front of a crit race, it was absolutely brutal as on his pulls I was getting almost no recovery as there was minimal draft, whereas on my pulls he was getting a free ride! And had such a big draft benefit on my wheel that it would have been almost impossible to shake him off. Or at least doing so would have burned so many matches it would have wrecked my race.